Europe's first life-sized Barbie Dreamhouse opened its pink doors in Berlin on Thursday to protesters who said the exhibition was nothing more than a sexist cliché.
The 26,900-square-foot replica of the famous blonde's fictional Malibu home is located near Alexanderplatz, Berlin's main shopping district. For 22 Euros ($28), visitors can peruse Barbie's wardrobe, play her pink piano and bake a virtual cupcake in her kitchen. It has a fountain in the form of a giant hot pink high heel in the front and, of course, includes a Barbie boutique filled with merchandise related to the Mattel-made doll.
Multiple factions gathered to protest the exhibition. A topless woman from the Femen protest group, who had "life in plastic is not fantastic" written across her bare chest, burned a Barbie doll tied to a cross. A pink-clad man wearing a blond wig had a sign that said "Do you like me now?" draped across his neck. Others held signs with phrases like "Dear Barbie - don't just bake cupcakes, eat them too!" and "I will free you from the horror house."
"Our protest is not directed towards little girls and their dreams," Michael Koschitzki, a member of the Occupy Barbie Dreamhouse protest group, told NBC News. "But, for us, this so-called Dreamhouse symbolizes the beauty craze and the discrimination of women in modern-day life. It presents a cliché of the female role in society."
Stevie Meriel Schmiedel, a founding member of the "Pink Stinks" protest group, echoed that Barbie's world revolves around one's appearance.
"There's too much emphasis on becoming more beautiful and on being pretty and that puts an awful lot of pressure on girls as well as wasting capacities which they could use to simply be happy or for school," she told Reuters.